Mastín de la Mancha, Mastín Español, Mastín de Leon
The Spanish Mastiff is a mastiff breed that works as a livestock guardian. Livestock guardians do not herd their charges, but instead protect them. This breed most often tends sheep, guarding them from wolves, thieves and other predators. In earlier times they were sometimes used to hunt boar as a secondary task, but in modern days they have adapted to the role of protecting the home.
Spanish Mastiff Standards
- AKC (FSS)
- FCI (Group 2)
- UKC (Guardian)
- 121-154 lbs
- large livestock guardian
- hanging ears and long tail
- looses skin with a double dewlap
- coat is short and straight
- may be brindled or parti-colored
History of the Spanish Mastiff
The Spanish Mastiff has existed in Spain for centuries. It is believed their ancestors were brought by the Phoenicians around 1000 BC and there are written records tracing them back to the 15th century. Once each region or district had its own mastíns, however these were condensed into two types in the 1940s. The longer coated dogs from the north became the Pyrenean Mastiff, while the shorter coats from other regions took the name Spanish Mastiff. Today they are still quite popular in their homeland, where it is recognized as a national breed, but it remains fairly rare abroad.